As of July 13, there were no wildfires burning in the Yankee Flats/Falkland area, and only one small fire in the Kamloops Fire Centre at Mara Hills, between Kamloops and Ashcroft. (Wildfire BC photo)

As of July 13, there were no wildfires burning in the Yankee Flats/Falkland area, and only one small fire in the Kamloops Fire Centre at Mara Hills, between Kamloops and Ashcroft. (Wildfire BC photo)

Shuswap residents see aircraft dropping fire retardant in direction of Falkland

BC Wildfire Service says no fire, crews in two air tankers and a bird dog were just practising

While Silver Creek residents could see what appeared to be planes fighting a wildfire on July 13, it turned out looks were deceiving – and alarming for some.

BC Wildfire Service reported the aircraft seen dumping what looked like fire retardant on Monday afternoon in the direction of Falkland above Yankee Flats were only practising.

Fire information officer Gagan Lidhran said two air tankers and one bird dog were carrying out training between Salmon Arm and Kamloops.

She said normally at this time of year BC Wildfire Service’s contractors would have been working on real fires by now.

“Our contractors need to keep practising to ensure they maintain that level of proficiency when actual fires start.”

Lidhran said they were not dropping retardant used on the fire line, but a water based solution with some retardant residue from the air tankers.

Read more: Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

Read more: Salmon Arm homeowners have role in reducing wildfire risk

Read more: What can you do to protect your property from wildfires?

Meanwhile, the site of aircraft appearing to fight a fire relatively nearby was worrying for at least one Silver Creek resident.

“We had no idea what was going on and multiple loads of red retardant were being used,” Blu Hopkins told the Observer. “I have PTSD and I was really upset and anxious after being evacuated twice before from our home. It was extremely inconsiderate and irresponsible for the wildfire service to conduct this type of training exercise in this area in particular, without informing the residents of Silver Creek that this was happening.”


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon ArmWildfire season

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Castlegar Sculpturewalk 2020 – 10 Year Anniversary Sand Sculpture. (Submitted/CBT)
CBT arts and culture grant program now accepting applications

Apply through the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance

(Pixabay)
‘Roadmap out of COVID-19’: Innovate BC’s program helping businesses recover

CEO Raghwa Gopal said the tech sector is here to help brick and mortar businesses

Brent and Craig Lebeau of Lebeau Brothers Logging star in Mud Mountain Haulers on Discovery Canada. (Photo submitted)
Mud Mountain Haulers shine light on forest industry

New TV show, featuring Lebeau Brothers Logging and shot in the Cariboo, premieres tonight.

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

A large portion of Anglemont is without running water due to a water main break on Jan. 26. (CSRD Image)
A large part of Anglemont in the North Shuswap is without water due to a water line break on Jan. 26. (Black Press File Photo)
Broken water main leaves Shuswap community without running water

The water line has left Anglemont residents either without water or with low pressure.

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
5 big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Kelowna seen from the top of Knox Mountain. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News file)
Homeownership unattainable for many Kelowna residents

Single-person and single-parent households often have limited options when it comes to housing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Penticton fire crews quickly put out a small blaze at a home on Duncan Ave. E Monday night. (Mike Biden photo)
South Okanagan house fire sends one to hospital

The fire at the Duncan Place home was cooking related

A Kelowna cannabis manufacturer has acquired another cannabis-based firm. (Black Press Media File)
Kelowna cannabis company acquires edibles manufacturer for $24.9 million

The Valens Company has acquired LYF Food Technologies

Most Read